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Police pushing seat belt safety

BY Kaitlin Gebby - kgebby@wabashplaindealer.com

Wabash City Police are joining the national Click It or Ticket campaign to raise awareness for seat belt safety over Memorial Day weekend.

Although the rate of Hoosiers neglecting to buckle their seat belt has dropped by 6 percent, new data from Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and the Indiana University Public Policy Institute show that unrestrained motorists still make up 53 percent of traffic deaths, Indiana State Police said.

Unrestrained motorists are 10 times more likely to die in crashes with cars and SUVs, and 14 times in pickup trucks and 15 times more likely in vans, according to a press release from ISP.

“It is absolutely heartbreaking to see the aftermath of a crash where a fatality could have been prevented by wearing a seat belt,” said Fort Wayne District Commander Lieutenant Corey Culler. “Click It or Ticket is more than an enforcement campaign, it is an educational effort to increase seat belt use and decrease fatal crashes.”

Wabash City Police Public Information Officer Matt Benson said now through the Memorial Day holiday, local police will add increased enforcement for unrestrained passengers in motor vehicles.

“Officers respond to traffic crashes and see many injuries and deaths could be preventable if everyone in a motor vehicle were buckled up,” WPD Officer Aaron Snover said.

North Manchester Police Department announced earlier this month that they would also be joining the Click It or Ticket campaign with increased patrols. They advised that seat belt safety not only protects the wearers, but also other passengers in the car. NMPD said in the release that unrestrained passengers can “become projectiles that can injure or kill others in the car.”

Police pulling drivers over during the campaign will write a ticket for the driver and also a separate ticket for any unrestrained children in the car.